College Basketball

The Top 50 Mascots in College Basketball

Brandon CroceAnalyst IJune 20, 2011

The Top 50 Mascots in College Basketball

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    BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 21:  The Syracuse Orange mascot performs during the second round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at HSBC Arena at HSBC Arena on March 21, 2010 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    One of the reasons, other than March Madness, college basketball has been so popular is the game day atmosphere. You will be hard pressed to find a better live sporting experience than a basketball game at the Carrier Dome or Camden Indoor.

    The fans have a big part in this, as does a winning team, but lets not forget the mascots. Over the years the mascot has become a big deal with some schools having tryouts that rival job interviews.

    For example, to become Aubie the Tiger at University of Auburn students must complete two tryout sessions, followed by an interview where students are told to dress business professional.

    The mascot has become an important part of the college sports experience and with that said here are the top 50 mascots in college basketball.

50. UC Santa Cruz Banana Slug

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    Let's start the list off with a Division III mascot and that is the Banana Slug from UC Santa Cruz. It gets the award for the least threatening mascot on this list and one of the oddest mascots I have ever heard of. 

49. Keggy the Keg: Dartmouth

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    Keggy is the only mascot on this list that is not the official mascot of its school. Dartmouth though has never had an official mascot and even though Keggy has been approved by the student government as the official mascot, Dartmouth College has not accepted this smiling keg as their school's athletic representative.

48. Bernie: Siena

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    SPOKANE, WA - MARCH 19:  The mascot of the Siena Saints performs during a timeout against the Purdue Boilermakers during the first round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Spokane Arena on March 19, 2010 in Spokane, Washington.  (Photo by Jon
    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    Even though dogs, specifically bulldogs, are one of the more popular choices for mascots, Bernie is the only St. Bernard mascot in Division I athletics.  

47. Beaker: Morehead State

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    DENVER, CO - MARCH 19:  The Morehead State Eagles mascot performs during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Pepsi Center on March 19, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Beaker got some much needed publicity thanks to Morehead State's run in the tournament this year. Although, can someone tell me why an eagle needs a cape?

46. Big Blue: Utah State

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    TUCSON, AZ - MARCH 17:  The Utah State Aggies mascot performs during their game against the Kansas State Wildcats the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at McKale Center on March 17, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Pet
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Big Blue is not afraid to mix it up with other mascots like in 2009 when he stole New Mexico State's mascot mustache and this happened

45. Norm the Niner: UNC Charlotte

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    CHARLOTTE - NOVEMBER 29:  The mascot of the UNC Charlotte 49ers rallies the fans during the college basketball game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at the Bobcats Arena on November 29, 2007 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Gett
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Norm the Niner is UNC Charlotte's mascot and has to be the creepiest mascot on this list. 

44. Sam the Minuteman: UMass

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    For a school that hasn't really had a competitive basketball team since John Calipari left, UMass' mascot Sam the Minuteman is pretty famous. He finished second place in the 2005 Capital One Mascot of the Year and recently appeared in an ESPN commercial seen here

43. Sparky the Sun Devil: Arizona State

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 09:  Sparky, the mascot for the Arizona State Sun Devils, performs on the court during a break in the game between the Sun Devils and the Oregon Ducks in the first round of the 2011 Pacific Life Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament a
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Arizona had a number of mascots before settling on the Sun Devil in 1946. Sparky is one of the more recognizable mascots in college basketball.

42. Cy the Cardinal: Iowa State

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 09:  Iowa State Cyclones mascot Cy the Cardinal performs during the first round game against the Colorado Buffaloes in the 2011 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 9, 2011 in Kansas City, Missou
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Iowa State's nickname is the Cyclones and since it was hard to depict a cyclone, the school decided to go with a cardinal due to the school colors, cardinal and gold.

41. Nittany Lion: Penn State

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    TUCSON, AZ - MARCH 17:  The mascot for the Penn State Nittany Lions performs during their game against the Temple Owls in the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at McKale Center on March 17, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona.  (Photo by Chris
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Some may ask what exactly is a Nittany Lion? Well I am glad you asked because it refers to the mountain lions that used to roam the area, and more specifically Mount Nittany. Penn State however may want to think about updating the mascot costume as it looks like it has been around longer than JoePa.

40. Raider Red: Texas Tech

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    TUCSON, AZ - MARCH 19:  The mascot of the Texas Tech University Red Raiders performs during an intermission in the game against the Gonzaga University Bulldogs during the second round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship on March 19, 2005 in McKale C
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    The Masked Raider is Texas Tech's primary mascot but his horse can't go to all sporting events. So they call in Raider Red, who looks like Yosemite Sam with a black mask.

39. Paydirt Pete: UTEP

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    UTEP's Paydirt Pete gets the award for having the best name for a mascot on this list but has to be one of the plainest mascots on this list. 

38. Testudo: Maryland

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    SPOKANE, WA - MARCH 19:  The Maryland Terrapins mascot performs during a pause in the action against the Houston Cougars during the first round of the 2010 NCAA menÕs basketball tournament at Spokane Arena on March 19, 2010 in Spokane, Washington.  (Photo
    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    Testudo is a diamondback terrapin, which is actually a Latin word for tortoise. Very classy, Maryland.

37. Chip: Colorado

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    TAMPA - MARCH 21:  The mascot for the University of Colorado Buffaloes cheers for his team against of the Michigan State Spartans as the Spartans defeated the Buffaloes 79-64 in the first round of the South Region of the 2003 NCAA Division I Men's Basketb
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    University of Colorado's Chip is a two time National Champion at the UCA Mascot Championships winning in 2009 and 2010. Chip is supposed to be a buffalo but I think he looks more like a furry devil.  

36. Cosmo the Cougar: BYU

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    DENVER, CO - MARCH 17:  The Brigham Young Cougars mascot performs during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Pepsi Center on March 17, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Cosmo the Cougar is BYU's mascot and I wouldn't be surprised if within the next few years he changed his name to Jimmer.

35. The Wildcat: Kentucky

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    LOUISVILLE, KY - DECEMBER 08:  The Kentucky Wildcats mascot performs during the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the 2010 DIRECTV SEC/BIG EAST Invitational at Freedom Hall on December 8, 2010 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Get
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The Wildcat, pictured here, is one of three official mascots for Kentucky. It may be time for the Wildcat to get a facelift and get him some new clothes that don't look like table clothes. 

34. Mike the Tiger: LSU

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    ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 10:  Mascot Mike the Tiger of the LSU Tigers cheers during their game against the Vanderbilt Commodores in the first round of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Georgia Dome on March 10, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kev
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    LSU has Costumed Mike, pictured here, and a real life tiger as their mascots. According to Wikipedia, there have been six Mike the Tigers since 1936 and LSU has a tradition where they will release white smoke from the school's Veterinary Medicine building. This tradition is something that is used when a new Pope is elected and smoke is released at the Sistine Chapel. 

33. Knightro: UCF

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    ORLANDO, FL - OCTOBER 20: The mascot of the Tulsa Golden Hurricane entertains during pre-game ceremonies against the University of Central Florida Knights at Bright House Stadium on October 20, 2007 in Orlando, Florida.  UCF won 44 - 23. (Photo by Al Mess
    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    In 2007, UCF decided to drop the word Golden from their team names and just be the UCF Knights. Obviously, Knightro didn't get the memo. 

32. YoUDee: Delaware

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    Don't be fooled by his smiling face, YoUDee is one tough hen. According to his website, the reason he is blue and gold is because his great-great-great grandfather was in the Revolutionary War and Captain John Caldwell said "There's no yellow streak in that chicken. He's blue to the bone."

31. HokieBird: Virginia Tech

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    GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 11:  The HokieBird, the mascot for the Virginia Tech Hokies, performs during the first half against the Florida State Seminoles in the quarterfinals of the 2011 ACC men's basketball tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 11,
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    The HokieBird is Virginia Tech's official mascot and is recognized more for his antics at the college's football games. For example in 1996, he was ejected for getting into a brawl with Miami's mascot and I didn't want any problems with HokieBird, so I made sure he got on the list. 

30. Bucky Badger: Wisconsin

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    INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 12:  Bucky Badger, mascot of the Wisconsin Badgers performs during the game against the Illinois Fighting Illini in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 12, 2010 in Indianapolis,
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Poor Bucky Badger having to wear that turtle neck that makes him look like an old-school barber pole. Come on Wisconsin and help the badger out with some new clothes.

29. NC State "Struttin" Wolf

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    ATLANTA - MARCH 12:  Mascot of the North Carolina State Wolfpack walks on the court against the Maryland Terrapins during day one of the 2009 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament on March 12, 2009 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Co
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    NC State is represented at games by the Struttin Wolf. Could they have picked a sadder looking wolf?

28. Big Al: Alabama

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    NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 12:  Big Al, the mascot from the Alabama Crimson Tide, performs against the Kentucky Wildcats during the quarterfinals of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Bridgestone Arena on March 12, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    University of Alabama's Big Al is one of the biggest mascots in college sports. Yes that was a pun intended using big with him being an elephant and all. Ok, let's move on....

27. Stanford Tree

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    TAMPA, FL - APRIL 06:  The mascot for the Stanford Cardinal performs against the UCONN Huskies during their National Semifinal Game of the 2008 NCAA Women's Final Four at St. Pete Times Forum April 6, 2008 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Ima
    Doug Benc/Getty Images

    Stanford decided to go with the Tree even though their nickname is the Cardinal. This has to be one of the most bizarre looking mascots in college basketball.

26. Aubie the Tiger: Auburn

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    ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 10:  Auburn University mascot Aubie the Tiger looks on during their game against the Georgia Bulldogs in the first round of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Georgia Dome on March 10, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    University of Auburn's Aubie the Tiger is one of the top mascots in the game today. He is a six time champion in the UCA National Mascot competition since 1991. Not bad for a Tony the Tiger look-a-like.

25. Demon Deacon: Wake Forest

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    GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 10:  The Demon Deacon, mascot of Wake Forest, performs during the game between the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the Boston College Eagles during the first round of the 2011 ACC men's basketball tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    For a team that is called the Demon Deacons, the mascot doesn't look very demonic. 

24. Leprechaun: Notre Dame

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 5:  The Notre Dame Fighting Irish mascot fires up the crowd before the 2011 NCAA Women's Final Four championship game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Conseco Fieldhouse on April 5, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jamie S
    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Notre Dame's mascot is so recognizable that he doesn't need a special name other than Leprechaun. He is the leader of "The Leprechaun Legion", one of the louder student cheering sections in college basketball.

23. Pistol Pete: Oklahoma State

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 09:  Oklahoma State Cowboys mascot Pistol Pete performs during their game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the first round of the 2011 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 9, 2011 in Kansas Ci
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Pistol Pete is actually based on real-life cowboy Frank Eaton and was first associated with Oklahoma State back in 1923. However, it wasn't until 1958 that he was officially adopted as the school's mascot. 

22. The Oregon Duck

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 09:  The mascot for the Oregon Ducks celebrates as the Ducks make a comeback in the second half against the Washington Huskies in the quarterfinals of the 2006 Pacific Life Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament on March 9, 2006 at Sta
    Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

    The Oregon Duck has an undeniable resemblance to Disney's Donald Duck and at football games has to do a push up for every point scored. Lucky for him he doesn't have to do that at basketball games.

21. Buzz: Georgia Tech

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    GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 10:  Buzz, the mascot for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, performs during the first half of the game against the Virginia Tech Hokies in the first round of the 2011 ACC men's basketball tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on Marc
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Buzz is Georgia Tech's mascot and they have some pretty strict requirements if you want to be Buzz. According to Wikipedia, you must be about 5'4" and be able to do the Buzz flip, his trademark front flip and go through two day tryouts.

20. Jonathan the Husky: UCONN

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    HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 02:  The Connecticut Huskies mascot on the court during a break in the game against the Kentucky Wildcats in the National Semifinal game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at Reliant Stadium on April 2, 2011 in H
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Jonathan the Husky is probably on Cloud Nine right now, still enjoying UConn's national title. Unfortunately, just because your basketball team won the whole thing doesn't mean you are automatically the number one mascot in college basketball.

19. Monte: Montana

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    You can't go wrong with a break dancing grizzly bear and University of Montana's Monte made this list because of his moves on the dance floor.

18. Hey Reb!: UNLV

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    TULSA, OK - MARCH 18:  The UNLV Rebels mascot performs during the second round game against the Illinois Fighting Illini in the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at BOK Center on March 18, 2011 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Image
    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    Is it just me or does UNLV's mascot, Hey Reb, look like Yosemite Sam or the Raider Red's father?

17. Goldy Gopher: Minnesota

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    INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 11:  Goldy Gopher, mascot of the Minnesota Golden Gophers performs during the game against the Penn State Nittany Lion in the first round of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 11, 2010 in Indianapol
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Not everyone is a fan of the University of Minnesota mascot as earlier this year, a professor punched the mascot in the face during a gymnastics competition. Maybe you should just stick to basketball Goldy.

16. Big Blue: Old Dominion

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    NEW ORLEANS - MARCH 18:  The mascot of the Old Dominion Monarchs performs during the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the first round of the 2010 NCAA men�s basketball tournament at the New Orleans Arena on March 18, 2010 in New Orleans,
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    The crown is fitting for Big Blue as the Old Dominion mascot is the reigning Capital One Mascot of the Year but unfortunately he is only 16th on this list.

15. Big Red: Western Kentucky

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    PHOENIX - MARCH 27:  The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers mascot attends the West Regional Sweet 16 game against the UCLA Bruins at the U.S. Airways Center on March 27, 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    What is Big Red? Western Kentucky's website describes him as a "furry, lovable creature." Whatever Big Red is, he is one of the most recognizable mascots in college basketball, appearing in ESPN commercials and was even inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2007. 

14. Rodney the Ram: Virginia Commonwealth

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    HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 02:  The Virginia Commonwealth Rams mascot performs prior to the National Semifinal game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at Reliant Stadium on April 2, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Rodney the Ram got a makeover just in time for VCU's impressive run to the Final Four this year. Maybe the new Rodney was their good luck charm?

13. Sebastian the Ibis: Miami

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    GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 10:  Sebastian the Ibis, the mascot for the University of Miami, performs during the game between the Miami Hurricanes and the Virginia Cavaliers during the first round of the 2011 ACC men's basketball tournament at the Greensboro C
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Sebastian is the mascot for Miami University and is one of the more popular mascots in college basketball. The guy even has some skill on the hardwood as you can see here making a half court shot followed by his famous C-A-N-E-S chant.

12. Purdue Pete

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    WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - JANUARY 09:  Purdue Pete the mascot for the Purdue Boilermakers performs against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Mackey Arena on January 9, 2011 in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue own 75-52. (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
    Chris Chambers/Getty Images

    Technically Purdue Pete is not the official mascot of Purdue. It is actually a Victorian style locomotive called the Boilermaker Special. Purdue Pete is more recognizable and I think a train would ruin the basketball court.

11. Albert Gator: Florida

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    TAMPA, FL - MARCH 19:  Albert, the mascot for the Florida Gators, poses for a photo with 2 FLorida cheerleaders against the UCLA Bruins during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at St. Pete Times Forum on March 19, 2011 in Tampa,
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Albert Gator may need to be careful as his wife, Alberta Gator, may start to get jealous if he keeps taking pictures like this. 

10. Brutus Buckeye: Ohio State

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    CLEVELAND, OH - MARCH 18: Brutus, the Ohio State Buckeyes mascot walks on the court during the game against the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Quicken Loans Arena on March 18, 2011 in
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Brutus Buckeye has shown he is more than just a nut that can entertain fans. Back in 2006, he made his new reporting debut on The Daily Show. Unfortunately, it didn't end very well.

9. Smokey: Tennessee

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    CLEVELAND - APRIL 03:  Smokey, the mascot of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers performs against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during the 2007 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship Game at Quicken Loans Arena on April 3, 2007 in Cleveland, Ohio. Tennessee won 59-
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    University of Tennessee's Smokey is one of the best dressed mascots on the list and it looks like Bruce Pearl gave him some fashion tips before he left.

8. Hink: Butler

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    HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 04:  The Butler Bulldogs mascot performs on the court as they are taking on the Connecticut Huskies during the National Championship Game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at Reliant Stadium on April 4, 2011 in Ho
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Butler University has two mascots in Butler Blue II, a real bulldog, and Hink, pictured here and named after Hinkle Fieldhouse. It is fitting that Hink wears a silver medal, seeing as how Butler has finished second the last two years. 

7. The Hawk: St. Joeseph's

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - MARCH 27:  CBS analyst Jim Nantz shows a smile as the St. Joseph's Hawks mascot flaps his arms in the background before the start of the fourth round regional game of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament against Oklahoma S
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Watch out Jim Nantz, St. Joseph's Hawk is sneaking up on you. According to the Hawk's website, "The Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated for Kids, Street & Smith's Basketball Yearbook and ESPN College Basketball magazine have selected it as the nation's top mascot." 

6. Big Jay and Baby Jay: Kansas

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    MINNEAPOLIS - MARCH 22:  Jayhawk, the mascot for the Kansas Jayhawks takes pictures with a camera from the photographer row against the Dayton Flyers during the second round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metr
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Jayhawk Nation has two mascots that will be seen at their games and according to their website, Big Jay scares and intimidates opposing team and mascots while Baby Jay, with the 1/2 jersey, puts a smile on everyone's face. 

5. Rameses: UNC

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    DETROIT - APRIL 06:  The North Carolina Tar Heels mascot celebrates after the Tar Heels defeated the Michigan State Spartans 89-72 during the 2009 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship game at Ford Field on April 6, 2009 in Detroit, Michi
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Rameses is University of North Carolina's mascot and is tied with Joe Bruin for being the oldest on this list, at 87 years young. I think there is something to be said about a tradition that long. 

4. Otto the Orange: Syracuse

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    CLEVELAND, OH - MARCH 18: The Syracuse Orange mascot walks on the court during the game against the Indiana State Sycamores during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Quicken Loans Arena on March 18, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio.
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Otto has been Syracuse's mascot for over 30 years now. That is a pretty good run for a piece of fruit and he hasn't shown any signs of rotting.

3. Duke Blue Devil

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 20:  The Duke Blue Devils mascot performs while the Blue Devils take on the Michigan Wolverines during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 20, 2011 in Charlotte, North Caro
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    This mascot is the leader of the Cameron Crazies, the student section at Cameron Indoor. He has become one of the more recognizable mascots in college sports, in part to Duke's recent success on the hardwood.

2. Joe Bruin: UCLA

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    INDIANAPOLIS - APRIL 01:  Joe Bruin, the UCLA Bruins mascot performs as they take on the LSU Tigers during the semifinal game of the NCAA Men's Final Four on April 1, 2006 at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Sorry Joe but you are not number one on this list. One of the oldest mascots, Joe Bruin has been UCLA's mascot since 1924.  He doesn't look bad for an 87 year old bear. 

1. Sparty: Michigan State

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    TAMPA, FL - MARCH 17:  Sparty, the msacot for the Michigan State Spartans, performs against the UCLA Bruins during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at St. Pete Times Forum on March 17, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Mer
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Michigan State's Sparty is one of the top mascots in the game today. He is regularly in Capital One Mascot advertising and even was on the Nintendo Wii's NCAA Football 09. Congrats Sparty you are the top mascot in college basketball. 

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